Monday, July 15, 2013

1307.3262 (David R. Rodriguez et al.)

The GALEX Nearby Young-Star Survey    [PDF]

David R. Rodriguez, B. Zuckerman, Joel H. Kastner, M. S. Bessel, Jacqueline K. Faherty, Simon J. Murphy
We describe a method that exploits data from the GALEX ultraviolet and WISE and 2MASS infrared source catalogs, combined with proper motions and empirical pre-main sequence isochrones, to identify candidate nearby, young, low-mass stars. Applying our method across the full GALEX- covered sky, we identify 2031 mostly M-type stars that, for an assumed age of 10 (100) Myr, all lie within ~150 (~90) pc of Earth. The distribution of M spectral subclasses among these ~2000 candidate young stars peaks sharply in the range M3-M4; these subtypes constitute 50% of the sample, consistent with studies of the M star population in the immediate solar neighborhood. We focus on a subset of 58 of these candidate young M stars in the vicinity of the Tucana-Horologium Association. Only 20 of these 58 candidates were detected in the ROSAT All-Sky X-ray Survey -- reflecting the greater sensitivity of GALEX for purposes of identifying active nearby, young stars, particularly for stars of type M4 and later. Based on statistical analysis of the kinematics and/or spectroscopic followup of these 58 M stars, we find that 50% (29 stars) indeed have properties consistent with Tuc-Hor membership, while 12 are potential new members of the Columba Association, and two may be AB Dor moving group members. Hence, ~75% of our initial subsample of 58 candidates are likely members of young (age ~10-40 Myr) stellar moving groups within 100 pc, verifying that the stellar color- and kinematics-based selection algorithms described here can be used to efficiently isolate nearby, young, low-mass objects from among the field star population. Future studies will focus on characterizing additional subsamples selected from among this list of candidate nearby, young M stars.
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